Why the picture of the breast pump? More like why NOT the picture of the breast pump? Actually, I’m posting part of a short essay I wrote about talking breast pumps (and a link to the rest at Babble). I’m using old material because we moved this weekend. If you feel like I write about moving a lot it’s because we moved from Chicago to Portland about a year ago and have been in two rental houses since we moved. However, this latest house is actually OUR house. We bought it. And, I’m celebrating with you by posting a breast pump essay because that’s how I like to party.
My Talking Breast Pump
I don’t believe in ghosts. I’ve never been abducted by aliens. I don’t see dead people. So I’m a little reluctant to admit the following: My breast pump used to talk to me. Well … it didn’t exactly talk to me. I never had a conversation with it. I don’t know if it was a Cubs or a White Sox fan. But when I used my Medela Pump In Style, I heard words.
Shortly after I gave birth, a lactation consultant recommended that I pump in order to give my low milk supply a “jump start” – which really is the perfect term to describe hooking one’s breasts up to a machine using what look like teeny-tiny jumper cables.
I pumped my sleep-deprived little heart out, but my cup – or, more accurately, my BPA-free bottles – did not runneth over; instead, they collected small puddles of milk. And it was about a week into this frustrating routine that I first heard from my portable, supposedly inanimate companion. An observer – and thank goodness there weren’t any given the eye-wrenching circumstances – might have thought it was simply the pump’s repetitive wheeze. But I heard things like this:
“Uh oh. Uh oh.”
“No way. No way.”
“Stop it. Stop it.”
And I won’t even go into the swearing.
Once I started making out what sounded like words, I was taunted on a regular basis. And as if the harassment wasn’t enough, that little sucker made me feel like I was losing my mind. Who else besides a crazy woman believes her breast pump talks to her? I had to know: Was it me, or did other people hear from their pumps, too?
At first I couldn’t bring myself to ask, but eventually I summoned the courage to post the following on my blog:
“For those of you who have used electric breast pumps: Did the suction noise ever sound like words to you?”
I winced after I hit enter. What if I was the only one?